Katie Pasco is the opening act and the national anthem will be performed by Lee Greenwood on Memorial Night, the WNFR performance in which rodeo honors the greats of the sport who have died in the past year. Presentation of the Linderman Award will be made to Joe Frost in the arena, prior to the barrel racing. Zoetis is the performance sponsor.
WRANGLER NFR LIVE ON TELEVISION, RADIO AND INTERNET
Tonight’s Wrangler NFR will be televised live and in HD on CBS Sports Net (DISH Network channel 158 and DirecTV channel 221) from 7-10 p.m. (PT) with Jeff Medders and Butch Knowles announcing, Joe Beaver and Don Gay providing commentary, Kadee Coffman the arena-side interviews and Suzanne Alexander the pre-game show from the ProRodeo Zone. Live HD coverage will be broadcast in Canada through CBS SN carriers Rogers, Bell Aliant, Cogeco, SaskTel, Canadian Cable Systems and Ontario Inc. ProRodeo Live is airing coverage on a network of radio stations, including Rural Radio, and also online at www.prorodeolive.com with Steve Kenyon, Wade Wheatley, Freya Ford and Jolee Jordan announcing.
THE BRAZILE WATCH
Trevor Brazile wrapped up work on his 12th all-around gold buckle Saturday night by finishing second in the team roping with Travis Graves and fourth in the tie-down roping to mathematically eliminate his final challenger, Tuf Cooper. Brazile now has $361,046 in total earnings this year, which puts him sixth on the all-time single-season list (he’s accounted for the top eight totals in the sport’s history), with seven nights of competition and the average checks still to be distributed. The all-around was his ninth in a row, moving him out of a tie for second on the list of most consecutive world titles with the team roping pair of Speed Williams and Rich Skelton; he now trails only Guy Allen (11 straight in steer roping, 1991-2001). With the all-around and the steer roping titles out of the way, Brazile is now looking to tie the record held by Jim Shoulders (1956-58) of winning three Triple Crowns – three gold buckles in a single season – or even do the unprecedented and complete a Grand Slam; he is second in both the team roping and tie-down roping world standings. Brazile previously won the Triple Crown in 2007 (AA, SR, TD) and 2010 (AA, TR, TD); if he were to win the Triple Crown with AA, SR and TR, it would be his third different combination.
ROUND 2 MATCHUPS TO PONDER
Thunder Monkey was the bareback horse of the night in Rounds 1 and 6 at last year’s WNFR and took Caleb Bennett to the win in the finals of the Pendleton Round-Up in September. WNFR rookie Richmond Champion draws the horse tonight, giving him a very good shot at claiming his first check, if not his first win … World standings leader Kaycee Feild draws Rafter G Rodeo’s Biscuit tonight, a horse that Tim O’Connell rode for 85 points to win the Tri-State Fair & Rodeo in Amarillo, Texas … Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Outa Sight, a four-time Wrangler NFR bareback selection who took Casey Colletti to an 89-point score and the win at the West of the Pecos (Texas) Rodeo this year, will be ridden tonight by Winn Ratliff … Canada’s Dustin Flundra draws Frontier Rodeo’s Let ’Er Rip, whoCody Wright rode for 90 points last winter to win the saddle bronc riding at the Southeastern Livestock Exposition Rodeo in Montgomery, Ala. … Four-time World Champion Bull Rider J.W. Harris has a favorable matchup in Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Thunder Cat, the same bull he had a 90-point ride on to win the Lea County Fair and Rodeo in Lovington, N.M., this past summer … Reid Barker draws Kesler Rodeo’s White Devil, a bull Brennon Eldred rode for 90 points to win the Livingston (Mont.) Roundup during Cowboy Christmas in July … Eldred draws Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Mind Games, a bull that has yet to be ridden in nine outs and has bucked off fellow 2014 Wrangler NFR qualifiers Tim Bingham, and Barker … Rookie Sage Kimzey, who is leading the world standings, draws Kojack, the bull Jordan Spears rode for 89 points and the win in the final round of the Dodge City (Kan.) Xtreme Bulls Tour event.
NEWS & NOTES
Bareback rider Steven Peebles, who has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo six consecutive years, had his trip to the 2014 WNFR end prematurely because of an injury. Rick Foster, Program Director of the Justin Sports Medicine team, confirmed Sunday afternoon that Peebles was doctor-released out for the remainder of the Wrangler NFR – Rounds 4 through 10 – with a mid-thoracic spine compression fracture.
“It was one of those deals where (the question is) can he compete without creating further damage? ‘No,’” Foster said. “The bottom line is because of a fracture, he’s not going to be full strength, and it would be foolish to try.” Peebles, who is from Redmond Ore., suffered the injury on Powder River Rodeo’s Craig at Midnight during Round 3. “That horse, when they opened the gate, he kind of reared back into him and then compressed him back up against the back of the chute gate,” Foster said. Peebles stayed aboard for a 68.5-point ride on Craig at Midnight, but didn’t place in the round. Peebles won Round 2 with an 85-point ride on New West Rodeo Production’s Right Spur, and collected a $19,002 check. Peebles was second in the world standings with $145,932 at the time of the injury, and tied for 11th in the average with 232 points on three head … Four-time World Champion Bareback Rider Bobby Mote is just $23,214 away from becoming the seventh person to earn $1 million in WNFR competition, following Brazile, Cody Ohl, Billy Etbauer, Sherry Cervi, Fred Whitfield and Joe Beaver. Four-time World Champion Steer Wrestler Luke Branquinho is within $47,176 of hitting the milestone after banking his third big check in as many nights on Saturday and Rich Skelton, the eight-time world champion heeler, is just $48,777 shy of reaching seven figures … Sage Kimzey, bidding to become just the second bull rider to earn a gold buckle in his rookie season (Bill Kornell did it in 1963), is also closing in on Steve Woolsey’s rookie earnings record for a full season (any event) of $197,646. After Saturday night’s win, Kimzey’s total stands at $173,508 with seven rounds and average checks still to be distributed; he is third in the average … After breaking his own Round 3 WNFR record with a 6.6-second run on Saturday night, Cody Ohl has posted 10 times of under seven seconds here (the arena-record 6.5 set in 2003, two 6.6s, two 6.7s and five 6.9s). That other 6.6 came in 2009 and still stands as the Round 4 record … The Wrangler NFR tie-down ropers are wearing blue feathers to raise awareness for Hope Counts, the organization which raises funds for families who have experienced financial hardship because of rodeo-related incidents. It is the National Little Britches Rodeo Association’s equivalent of the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund.
Record times and scores for the 4th round of the WNFR:
Bareback riding: 90.5 points, Will Lowe, 2004
Steer wrestling: 3.1 seconds, Dean Gorsuch, 2013
Team roping: 3.5 seconds, Brady Tryan/Jake Long, 2010
Saddle bronc riding: 90 points, Jesse Kruse, 2009 and Jesse Wright, 2012
Tie-down roping: 6.6 seconds, Cody Ohl, 2009
Barrel racing: 13.67 seconds, Sherry Cervi, 2012
Bull riding: 92 points, Jesse Bail, 2001 and Paolo Crimber, 2004
Courtesy of PRCA